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HOUSTON INDUSTRIES INCORPORATED REPORTS RESULTS

 HOUSTON, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Houston Industries Incorporated ("HI") (NYSE: HOU) today announced consolidated earnings of $100.2 million or $.77 per share for the second quarter of 1993, compared to $120.2 million or $.93 per share for the second quarter of 1992. Consolidated earnings for the first six months of 1993 were $127.3 million or $.98 per share, compared to $172.1 million or $1.33 per share for the same period in 1992. For the twelve months ended June 30, 1993, HI reported consolidated net income of $389.8 million or $3.01 per share, compared to earnings of $444.8 million or $3.44 per share for the same period last year.
 A portion of the decrease in HI's earnings for the six months and twelve months ended June 30, 1993 was due to nonrecurring items at Houston Lighting & Power Company (HL&P), HI's electric utility subsidiary, that had the net effect of increasing reported earnings for the comparable periods of 1992, as discussed below. Without these items, HI's earnings for the six months and twelve months ended June 30, 1992 would have been $135.0 million or $1.04 per share and $407.7 million or $3.15 per share, respectively.
 Also contributing to the decrease in HI's earnings for the quarter, six months and twelve months ended June 30, 1993 were lower residential kilowatt-hour (KWH) sales and increased expenses at HL&P during 1993, as discussed below.
 HL&P reported net income after preferred dividends of $105.8 million for the second quarter and $137.3 million for the six months ended June 30, 1993, compared to $127.5 million and $193.6 million for the same periods of 1992. For the twelve months ended June 30, 1993, HL&P reported earnings after preferred dividends of $413.8 million, compared to $501.3 million a year earlier.
 The 1992 six months and twelve months ended earnings included $142.7 million of pre-tax income associated with the adoption of a change in accounting principle reflecting a change in the timing of revenues from electricity sales, and a pre-tax charge of $86 million related to HL&P's restructuring program. Excluding these two nonrecurring items, HL&P's earnings for the six months and twelve months ended June 30, 1992, would have been $156.5 million and $464.2 million, respectively.
 Also contributing to the decline in comparative earnings were decreased energy sales and increased operating expenses. Base revenues declined $14 million in the second quarter and the first six months of 1993 compared to the same periods in 1992. The decrease in base revenue was the result of decreased residential sales, primarily due to milder weather, partially offset by increased commercial and firm industrial sales. Residential KWH sales in 1993 declined 4 percent in the second quarter and 3 percent for the first six months compared to 1992, while commercial and firm industrial KWH sales rose 1 percent and 4 percent in the second quarter and 1 percent and 2 percent for the first six months compared to 1992. Increased expenses were primarily the result of the recognition of higher postretirement benefit costs, costs related to the sale of unbilled receivables, higher production plant maintenance, and increased property taxes. These increases were partially offset by reduced interest expense and preferred dividends resulting from refinancing activities and reduction of long-term debt.
 HL&P's earnings for the current and prior periods have been restated to reflect the merger of HL&P and Utility Fuels, Inc., HI's coal supply subsidiary. As a result of the merger, HL&P's quarter, six months and twelve months ended June 30, 1993 earnings increased $6.4 million, $12.9 million and $27.1 million, respectively. The merger is expected to be completed later this year.
 KBLCOM Incorporated (KBLCOM), HI's cable television subsidiary, reduced its loss in the second quarter of 1993 to $127,000 from $5.7 million for the same period of the previous year. For the six months and twelve months ended June 30, 1993, KBLCOM reported losses of $4.2 million and $11.4 million, compared to $14.0 million and $45.4 million for the same periods of the previous year.
 The improvements in KBLCOM's results are primarily the result of increasing revenues, reduced interest expense and increased profits from its jointly-owned cable television partnership, Paragon Communications.
 HI is headquartered in Houston.
 -0- 7/29/93
 /CONTACT: Sandy Brendler, 713-629-3123, or Dan Bulla, 713-629-3120, both of Houston Industries Incorporated/
 /FIRST AND FINAL ADD -- TABULAR MATERIAL -- TO FOLLOW/
 (HOU)


CO: Houston Industries Incorporated ST: Texas IN: UTI SU: ERN

MP -- NY051 -- 7470 07/29/93 11:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 29, 1993
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